My subscribers are asking me questions....

19 replies
Hi all,

I've just started trying to develop my list properly. I'd got it up to 500 people very slowly, but have now started giving away an ebook which means I bring in about 15 new subscribers per day.

I'm developing an auto-responder series and the first message went out yesterday.

The "problem" is that subscribers are replying to me with questions. I realise that this is probably a good thing really... They're engaged enough to reply, they value the advice my site can offer, they have problems that I can help them solve, etc.

However - I'm not actually an expert in my niche. I know a little bit about it, but the site was mainly built using freelancers. And they might not even have been experts but just researched online.

Also, my niche is pet care. I wouldn't want to give bad advice on any subject, but particularly not about caring for an animal.

And finally, if I do research each email online and send a proper answer, that's going to take up a lot of time!

So what do I do? I hate ignoring people but I don't want to spend all my time researching email replies. Plus, this is when I have 500 subscribers... What happens when I have 5000?!
#questions #subscribers
  • Profile picture of the author gracie2339
    Some suggestions:

    -Become an expert in your niche and answer your subscribers' questions. This is IF you're passionate enough to pursue this niche and give tons of value to your followers. One thing I've learned is that it's hard to teach something you're not an expert in, and you'll most likely fail. However, if you know a lot about what you're talking about, you can make a lot of money from it. But if you're not passionate enough to learn more about pets and pet care, you can do the next option:

    -Build up your list, website traffic, and assets more and then sell it to someone who is passionate about the topic. Monetize your list/website, and you can sell it for more.

    or you can...

    -Hire someone to research and answer the questions for you
    -Find a friend or expert who can answer the questions quickly for you
    -Gather up their questions, research them all at one time, or build it up to create an FAQ book or page you can send to people whenever they ask these questions, or put it in a place where it's easily accessible to them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ben Holmes
    Ditto what the previous poster said.

    Sooner or later you will be an expert in that field... sooner is better

    But you'd be amazed at how much information can simply be Googled, and other people simply don't know how. Learn Google inside out, and you'll have the resources to be the expert.
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  • Profile picture of the author fulfilledlife
    Create a community where they can help to each other, maybe blog or web forum.

    But also take that opportunity to become more knowledgeable about your niche, otherwise you will have impossible time building yourself into authority figure.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      I wouldn't want to give bad advice on any subject, but particularly not about caring for an animal.
      I'm glad to see you feel that way. You can't 'fake it till you make it' when dealing with the health and welfare of living creatures.

      That said - maybe you need to add a blog or Q/A page where you answer the most commonly asked questions. That would allow time for you to research (or talk to your own vet) and have a proper and helpful answer to post. Would also alleviate people who expect personal pet care advice.

      Do NOT give advice on health care or dietary requirements if you do not know what you are talking about. If you look at many pet sites online you will notice the "advice" is often quite general and ends with "see your veterinarian" more often than not.

      Pet health care, behavior, training etc are fields for experts - but knowledgeable people can learn enough to be helpful. The trick is to be helpful without doing harm.

      There's nothing wrong with answering a question by saying "though I love animals, I am not a veterinarian or trained animal behaviorist so cannot answer specific questions about pet care".
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  • Profile picture of the author huzzah
    Originally Posted by AdamJ85 View Post

    Hi all,

    I've just started trying to develop my list properly. I'd got it up to 500 people very slowly, but have now started giving away an ebook which means I bring in about 15 new subscribers per day.

    I'm developing an auto-responder series and the first message went out yesterday.

    The "problem" is that subscribers are replying to me with questions. I realise that this is probably a good thing really... They're engaged enough to reply, they value the advice my site can offer, they have problems that I can help them solve, etc.

    However - I'm not actually an expert in my niche. I know a little bit about it, but the site was mainly built using freelancers. And they might not even have been experts but just researched online.

    Also, my niche is pet care. I wouldn't want to give bad advice on any subject, but particularly not about caring for an animal.

    And finally, if I do research each email online and send a proper answer, that's going to take up a lot of time!

    So what do I do? I hate ignoring people but I don't want to spend all my time researching email replies. Plus, this is when I have 500 subscribers... What happens when I have 5000?!
    Questions can be an AWESOME opportunity to create targeted content down the line. Take note of the most common questions you get especially, and keep a record of the answers you give (or whoever you decide to have answer their questions).

    Your subscribers are telling you what they want to know. How cool is that? Your answers will make great future blog posts. Or a wonderful super-targeted ebook down the line. Or an awesome autoresponder mini-course. Content created this way almost always goes over better with your audience.

    There's opportunity in them there questions!
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    • Profile picture of the author AdamJ85
      Thanks all!

      I've decided to create an FAQ page as Gracie suggested.

      Hopefully that will help me avoid getting into lots of long email conversations and allow me to build up a valuable resource at the same time.

      Huzzah - you make a good point about using questions as sources of ideas for blog posts or ebooks. I'll definitely bear that in mind!
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  • Profile picture of the author InFlames20
    Yes, FAQ page is a great idea. You could also make it private and mention that to get even more subscribers. Like a special bonus - subscribers only - area/page with expert answers on their questions, that sounds pretty cool.

    You can also see what are the most common questions from your readers and turn that into new blog posts, basically you have free ideas coming in from your readers
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  • Profile picture of the author Kingshouse
    Originally Posted by AdamJ85 View Post

    Hi all,

    I've just started trying to develop my list properly. I'd got it up to 500 people very slowly, but have now started giving away an ebook which means I bring in about 15 new subscribers per day.

    I'm developing an auto-responder series and the first message went out yesterday.

    The "problem" is that subscribers are replying to me with questions. I realise that this is probably a good thing really... They're engaged enough to reply, they value the advice my site can offer, they have problems that I can help them solve, etc.

    However - I'm not actually an expert in my niche. I know a little bit about it, but the site was mainly built using freelancers. And they might not even have been experts but just researched online.

    Also, my niche is pet care. I wouldn't want to give bad advice on any subject, but particularly not about caring for an animal.

    And finally, if I do research each email online and send a proper answer, that's going to take up a lot of time!

    So what do I do? I hate ignoring people but I don't want to spend all my time researching email replies. Plus, this is when I have 500 subscribers... What happens when I have 5000?!

    Always a good idea to go for a niche you care about and not just one making money.

    Anyway, how about doing some research for yourself? You can then become an expert and it will mean you can genuinely answer your subscribers questions quickly and most times withiut having to do extensive time consuming research.

    Buy a few top books from Amazon and learn from the experts in the pet care niche.

    Hope this helps

    Will D Kingshouse,
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  • Profile picture of the author Tony M
    Ideas are flowing.

    I'd have an "upgraded" newsletter for $29.95 - $50.00 per month where they
    can have access to REAL veterinarians via email where they can
    get their questions answered.

    I know tons of sites that do this including Dr. Phil

    In fact, you can even turn this into a paid app if you wanted to.
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    • Profile picture of the author NeedBucksNow
      Good idea! That would be cool to see on a website and would kill two birds with one stone.
      Originally Posted by Tony M View Post

      Ideas are flowing.

      I'd have an "upgraded" newsletter for $29.95 - $50.00 per month where they
      can have access to REAL veterinarians via email where they can
      get their questions answered.

      I know tons of sites that do this including Dr. Phil

      In fact, you can even turn this into a paid app if you wanted to.
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  • Profile picture of the author TallCoolOne
    My mentor always says "Learn, Do, Teach" If you're passionate about your niche, dig in and learn. If you're not, find another niche. Learn it, go out and do it, then you can teach it, and answer all those email questions.
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  • Profile picture of the author msabihj
    Lot of great ideas.

    Here is mine.

    1. Organize all the common questions and generate themes and find patterns.

    2. Hire a freelancer and create a course, ebook or a product that answer all the queries plus a lot of others that may arise.

    3. Sell the product or course to your list.

    4. You will make money - they will get the information that they need.

    Options # 2

    Create a forum - simple.
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  • Profile picture of the author JensSteyaert
    Well i guess most things can be found online anyways, so you'll just need to do some research on the questions they ask you and then add that in your replies.

    By the time you have 5000 subscribers you'll be a true expert.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnnyPlan
    You have such an amazing opportunity now as your readers trust you enough to ask questions and rely on your advice. You could either research the question or hire someone else who is an expert in the field to research and prepare a written answer (which you could paste into email response) to reply to the newsletter. By the way, you should compile all these questions and integrate them into your newsletter feed. This would be great content as it's what your readers want to know about.
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    • Profile picture of the author alexchen23
      Originally Posted by JohnnyPlan View Post

      You have such an amazing opportunity now as your readers trust you enough to ask questions and rely on your advice. You could either research the question or hire someone else who is an expert in the field to research and prepare a written answer (which you could paste into email response) to reply to the newsletter. By the way, you should compile all these questions and integrate them into your newsletter feed. This would be great content as it's what your readers want to know about.
      I think this is the best answer.
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  • Profile picture of the author Housestacks
    Use the "opra effect" - she would bring authorities in and get their insight. Find an authority and do a webinar selling one of their products (give away great info but not all the info) get an affiliate commission from them for promoting their product/service.

    I sure you've been on many webinars and know how they work.

    You are ahead of the game because you know what they most important questions that your niche want answered.

    Offer the answers (help them and you will help yourself to $$$)
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  • Profile picture of the author alexchen23
    Just study their question and answer them.

    If you are not an expert in your niche, learn for it.
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  • Profile picture of the author powerofschool
    Hi Mate,

    As other warriors said,

    You need to hire person to work for you on permanent basis ( where he can work from home on the daily basis ) . If you really reached 5000 or more subscribers , You can tell him to work for full time.
    Other wise , you can get trained yourself on your niche and on daily basis you can get full knowledge to answer in short time.

    Hope this works for you.

    Thanks
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